Current View: All Antweb
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print: . Accessed

· For web:

Species: Harpagoxenus sublaevis   (Nylander, 1849) 

Download Data

See Also:

Harpagoxenus sublaevis caucasicus

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Extant: 1 valid subspecies

Myrmica sublaevis Nylander, 1849 PDF: 33 (w.) FINLAND. Palearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Tomognathus: Mayr, 1861 PDF: 56; in Harpagoxenus: Forel, 1893b PDF: 167.
Senior synonym of Harpagoxenus hirtula: Radchenko, 2007 PDF: 32.
Current subspecies: nominal plus Harpagoxenus sublaevis caucasicus.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Europe: Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

2 localities in Alpine SLO


Social parasite of Leptothorax acervorum.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174

25. Harpagoxenus sublaevisHNS (Nylander, 1849)

Figs. 104, 105.

Myrmica sublaevis NylanderHNS, 1849:33.

Worker. Pale yellowish brown to brown; head large, rectangular, with weakly concave occiput. Frontal carinae extend backward to enclose whole length of antennal scape. Antennae 11 segmented with intermediate segments strongly transverse and enlarged 4 segmented club. Eyes large, set midway at sides of head. Mesopropodeal furrow deep and distinct; propodeal spines broad and short. Femora and tibiae short and broadly rounded. Head and mesopropodeum longitudinally striate, petiole nodes and gaster smooth and shining. Whole body and appendages covered with long, acute, pale hairs. Length: 3.5-5.5 mm.

Queen. Ergatoid, similar to worker, but larger. Length: 4.7-5.7 mm. Normal alate queen has the head more square and the alitrunk relatively more massive, straightsided from above. Wings pale yellowish, short, forewings with open radial cell, 1 cubital cell and 1 discoidal cell. Length: 4.5-4.8 mm.

Male. Dark brown to black with paler legs and gaster. Head broader than long with rounded occiput. Mandibles edentate, short, reduced and nonfunctional. Eyes large, set anterior to midline of head, approximately 2/5 length of head. Ocelli present but inconspicuous. Antennal scape short, less than 2 following segments. Head and alitrunk finely sculptured but whole body moderately shining. Length: 3.7-4.5 mm.

Distribution. Denmark: only recorded from Jutland; throughout Fennoscandia, not uncommon. - Absent from British Isles. - Range: Pyrenees to Caucasus; North Italy to North Norway.

Biology. This species lives in obligate dulotic association with Leptothorax acervorum,HNS L. muscorumHNS and more rarely with L. tuberumHNS. Workers may forage singly outside the nest and are capable of brood tending and can feed themselves but are evidently dependant on the host species for the continuation of the colony. In Denmark and Fennoscandia nests containing host species and inquiline are commonly found in twigs on the ground, tree stumps or under bark but in the mountains of Central Europe they occur more usually under stones. In mixed colonies the host queen may survive and alatae of both species may be developed within the same nest. Fertilised Harpagoxem: queens invade new nests of LeptothoraxHNS and appropriate mature larvae and pupae o. the host species to use both as food and for rearing as auxiliaries.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in bogs & fenns, 1 times found in sun-exposed rock pile, mountain meadow.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times nest in dead branch on ground with Leptothorax acervorum slaves.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times Hand, 1 times Manual catch.

Elevations: collected at 810 m

Type specimens: type of Myrmica sublaevis: focol2045

See something amiss? Send us an email.